By Per Peterson
It all started for George Hebig in 1997 when he paid a visit to the late Con Rettmer at City Hall to inquire about joining the Tracy Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Pretty soon, he asked if I wanted to join the Box Car Committee — that’s where it started,” said Hebig. “That’s why I always called him the ‘Con man.’ He cons you into it.”
The rest, as they say is history, and Hebig spent the next 20 years as one of the driving forces behind Box Car Days.
“There’s been a bunch of good people (on the committee),” Hebig said. “Rosie (Mike Rose), never a dull moment with Rosie. Mike Mumm has been on there. Linda Fultz, Tom Rignell — those were fun people to work with.”
Those are just a few of the names on the tip of Hebig’s tongue; he said there have been many good people on the committee.
“It takes a lot of people, a lot of volunteers,” he said. “If it wasn’t for them, it wouldn’t happen.”
This weekend’s 90th Box Car Days celebration will be Hebig’s last as president of the Box Car Days Committee, and he said it’s a been a fun and rewarding ride.
“To see the people sitting on the curbside for the parade having fun, and the families at the rides, volleyball, softball … it’s grown to be just a great get-together. There have been ups and downs, but the majority of it has been really fun.”
Tracy Chamber Director Kim Roggatz said Hebig has been a trustworthy ally in Box Car Days planning and organizing during her time as director. She said people respect Hebig as a leader and someone to go to when issues arise.
“He’s always been the one in the group who takes charge,” Roggatz said. “You need that person in the group — that when you’re on the fence saying, ‘What are we going to do?’ — to say, ‘Hey, this is what we’re doing.’ He’s that guy.
For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.